Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for June 2010

25-lb and 30-lb kettlebells just arrived

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That didn’t take long because the (free) shipping is via USPS Priority Mail. The two kettlebells arrived in two medium flat-rate Priority Mail boxes. Postage was $11.45 each. Very fast delivery.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 June 2010 at 1:17 pm

Posted in Daily life, Fitness

Montel Williams: "I’ll use pot until the day I die"

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Montel Williams uses marijuana to combat the effects of multiple sclerosis. Hear what he says.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 June 2010 at 11:53 am

Mainstream media and reporting on torture

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Andrew Sullivan has an excellent post on this:

This blog, along with others, compiled some anecdotes and research to show how the New York Times had always called "waterboarding" torture – until the Bush-Cheney administration came along. Instead of challenging this government lie, the NYT simply echoed it, with Bill Keller taking instructions from John Yoo on a key, legally salient etymology. Now, we have the first truly comprehensive study of how Bill Keller, and the editors of most newspapers, along with NPR, simply rolled over and became mouthpieces for war criminals, rather than telling the unvarnished truth to their readers and listeners in plain English:

Examining the four newspapers with the highest daily circulation in the country, we found a significant and sudden shift in how newspapers characterized waterboarding. From the early 1930s until the modern story broke in 2004, the newspapers that covered waterboarding almost uniformly called the practice torture or implied it was torture: The New York Times characterized it thus in 81.5% (44 of 54) of articles on the subject and The Los Angeles Times did so in 96.3% of articles (26 of 27).

By contrast, from 2002‐2008, the studied newspapers almost never referred to waterboarding as torture. The New York Times called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture in just 2 of 143 articles (1.4%). The Los Angeles Times did so in 4.8% of articles (3 of 63). The Wall Street Journal characterized the practice as torture in just 1 of 63 articles (1.6%). USA Today never called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture.

In addition, the newspapers are much more likely to call waterboarding torture if a country other than the United States is the perpetrator. In The New York Times, 85.8% of articles (28 of 33) that dealt with a country other than the United States using waterboarding called it torture or implied it was torture while only 7.69% (16 of 208) did so when the United States was responsible. The Los Angeles Times characterized the practice as torture in 91.3% of articles (21 of 23) when another country was the violator, but in only 11.4% of articles (9 of 79) when the United States was the perpetrator.

So the NYT went from calling waterboarding torture 81.5 percent of the time to calling it such 1.4 percent of the time. Had the technique changed? No. Only the government implementing torture and committing war crimes changed. If the US does it, it’s not torture.

The editors who insisted on these changes remain liars and cowards and a disgrace to journalism and a free society. They should quit for this kind of open deception and craven cowardice in putting power before truth. They remind you that if you really want to understand what is going on in the world, the New York Times will only publish what the government deems is fit to print – even in its choice of words.

DO NOT MISS reading the study.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 June 2010 at 11:47 am

Searing Steaks: Two Paths to Nutty Brown Nirvana

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Wonderful article, via Steve of Kafeneio.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 June 2010 at 11:32 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Amazing exchange

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Greenwald quite carefully and factually addresses some of Jeffrey Goldberg’s faulty arguments (in this post), and then Joe Klein goes crazy and responds in a way to does him considerable discredit (here’s the post, and be sure to read the comments: Klein’s readers seem to be considerably smarter than he is), thus providing an excellent example of why the mainstream media is so rightly distrusted: they can’t seem to grasp quite simple arguments, and they get hysterical when someone not in the Village does good reportage (e.g., Michael Hasting’s Rolling Stone article on Gen. McChrystal). In that hysteria, they reveal that they see their job primarily as publicists working on behalf of the rich and powerful.

John Cole also has a good post on the exchange.

Some readers don’t much like Greenwald, but I’m having a hard time understanding the specific reasons for the dislike. I get things like "he’s narcissistic" (with no evidence appended). I can’t do much with that, but in my reading Greenwald is quite careful in his arguments and strong in his defense of civil rights and the US Constitution.

And, in summary, Greenwald has an excellent column that demonstrates with examples of how subservient to the government the media have become.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 June 2010 at 11:24 am

Posted in Daily life, Media

Homeopathy

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An excellent review of the tenets of homeopathy. Highly recommended. It begins (click to enlarge):

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 June 2010 at 11:02 am

Posted in Daily life, Medical, Science

Fitness progress

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So far I have lost a total of 7 lbs, not very much considering I’ve been on the program for more than 3 weeks. I talked to my diet counselor today, and she suggested that I drop the evening snack since I go to bed early (around 9:00) after eating around 6:00. That should help. And once I get into the aerobic exercises (e.g., the kettlebell swing, vigorous walking), it should go even better.

Last night I had some pseudo-meat on a stick: “BBQ Cubes On A Stick”. There were 4 sticks in the package, each with 4 cubes of whatever it was, with 2 sticks being a serving. I automatically took out two sticks for dinner, wrapped up the other two and put them in the fridge for tomorrow. As I was eating, I got to thinking about this behavior (I’m still watching me like a hawk). Normally I would have looked at the package, asked myself, “Can I eat that much comfortably?”, and answered, “Yes” and so would have eaten both servings, feeling as though it was really one serving.

I realized that I had been looking upon a “serving” as “an amount of that food that I can eat comfortably,” which is how I got to eating 3 thick-cut lamb chops for dinner: each having a net weight (sans bone) of 6 ounces, so the three were 18 ounces: 4.5 times one actual serving, which is the amount I should eat for a meal.

In fact, one can comfortably eat quite a large meal in terms of one’s actual needs (assuming you’re as sedentary as I). Indeed, that’s probably a contribution from evolution: our hunter-gatherer ancestors doubtless had many days of short rations, so when they actually had a surplus, it would have been very bad if they could not comfortably eat any more than the minimum to which they had grown accustomed. It’s good (in a sense) that we can quite comfortably eat much more food than we actually need to get through to the next meal—in those days, hundreds of thousands of years before the all-you-can-eat buffet.

But now I’m regaining the modern idea of “one serving”: the amount of whatever that I should eat.

Another thought I had is that these days I eat a well-balanced diet like clockwork: 10-12 oz of protein, 4 servings of starch, 6 servings of veggies (steamed and/or as a salad), 3 servings of fruit. I had thought about this earlier this year, but it just seemed too difficult. Now it’s a snap. I thought about why:

a. I have a definite, specific program to follow.

b. I keep track of what I eat in a food journal.

c. The fee is highly motivating: I paid for this counseling, and if I don’t lose weight, I’ll feel like a chump. So I’m being quite careful to avoid being a chump.

d. I meet with the diet counselor three times a week.

As a result: it’s easy to stick with a healthful diet..

I’m very pleased to cut out that last snack, which included a starch. The 4th starch was always a problem.

UPDATE: Thus, as is obvious, a “serving” came to mean “as much of that particular dish as I want to eat.” Totally driven by appetite: gluttony (a mortal sin). How it happens: I’m still looking for my copy of Wolinsky’s Trances People Live, and I think that will prove illuminating (as, indeed, Daniel Goleman’s Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception already is).

Written by LeisureGuy

30 June 2010 at 10:58 am

Posted in Daily life, Fitness, Food

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